Hello. I just wanted to share my NCLEX Experience, most specially to the international grads who are about to challenge the NCLEX-RN exam soon.
If you are reading this thread out of anxiety for your upcoming exam, trust me, I've been in your shoes, and the posts i have read in this forum has been one of my inspirations to pass the NCLEX.
So, Im an international graduate from the Philippines, and I graduated last 2012. I moved here in the US since October '13. I got a full time job that i was not even able to drop while I was studying for the NCLEX-RN. It was really tough, juggling two things at the same time, i had all the doubts, fears and anxiety while I was preparing for the test because I know a lot of people whose ONLY jobs were to study, and yet still failed. But despite all the doubts, fears and hectic schedule, I challenged myself.
I studied for only 2 months straight before the test. On the first month I focused on Hurst Online Review, doing 1 body system/content area per day and then answering the corresponding content area questions on the saunders CD that I have along with my Saunders book. I studied for 3 hours/day- 100 questions/day on weekdays and finished 2-3 content areas/day - 200 questions/day on weekends. On every content discussed in Hurst that I felt was not sufficient, I always used the Saunders book to enhance my learning. I also read the entire chapters from saunders ONLY on the areas I knew I was weak on.. I always made sure that I mastered my weaknesses. I also have PDA by La Charity, which was very helpful on mastering prioritization/delegation questions (there are tons of these Qs on nclex), I answered each chapter according to which topics I have studied in my Hurst content. I finished the Hurst Lectures in one month. Then On the first week of the second month, I purchased Kaplan Qbank Only, and finished the entire qbank in 2 weeks. On the second month I focused on brushing up my weaknesses, doing questions from Hurst Qreview, Saunders, nclex3500 (free online) and things I usually tend to forget. Everything that I needed to memorize, I only memorized on the last 2 weeks before my test. I concentrated on UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPTS of all topics, and familiarizing how the body normally functions, it really makes everything so easier, rather than putting too much effort on memorizing without even understanding anything. The NCLEX-RN mastery App from the app store is a very handy resource for questions too, i purchased the full version for $30 and it was so worth it, I answered it every time I had the chance; while at the bus/bus stop, on the way to work, during work-breaks..etc. For the whole 2 months, i literally didnt have a social life at all. I was all work and study. I sacrificed all the hang-outs with friends, deactivated my social online accounts, avoided all sorts of distractions.. Just because I didnt have the luxury of time and, I promised myself to give NCLEX, every ounce of effort I could ever give, just so that in the end, whatever the outcome would have been, I knew There was nothing more I could have done to make it better, i made sure that if I ever failed that test, i would still congratulate myself for not having any regrets at all.
I took the test last September 8, 2014. It was so hard, I felt like not a single thing I have studied came out on the test, none of the questions were answerable by memorized facts.. i was even pretty confident with the my content-knowledge and test taking strategies after all my studying but when I sat on the NCLEX, it really felt like I barely knew anything, the most questions I had were even topics I have never heard of, questions i never expected to be asked. when it shut off at 77, i felt like a total failure. 2 days later i accessed the quick results and found out that I passed. It was the MOST rewarding and euphoric feeling I have ever felt my whole life, when you know, and God knows how hard you have worked for something and it pays off in the end-- the feeling is priceless.
if youre studying right now, and feel so hopeless about it, DONT GIVE UP. DO NOT think of the possibility of failures, DO NOT let anxiety defeat you. DO NOT, by any means let anything become an excuse to not passing the exam, ALWAYS KNOW THAT YOU HAVE EVERYTHING IT TAKES TO PASS IT, BUT NEVER FORGET THAT IT WILL TAKE EVERYTHING YOU'VE GOT.
STUDY HARD, PRAY HARDER.
Goodluck Fellow Nurses :)